US-based fast casual restaurant platform Panera Brands has announced that its current CEO, Niren Chaudhary, will be appointed board chairman as it prepares to go public.
The current president and CEO of Einstein Bros Bagels, José Alberto Dueñas, will become Panera Brands’ next chief executive from 1 July 2023.
Additionally, Panera Brands’ independent director and former Starbucks CFO Patrick Grismer has been named the audit committee’s chairman.
In his four-year tenure as Panera Brands CEO, Chaudhary played an instrumental role in bolstering the company’s position in the fast casual segment by expanding its digital capabilities.
He increased the company’s sales and helped generate more than $4.8bn in revenue in fiscal year 2022.
He also helped to bolster the company’s loyalty base to 53 million members by launching a loyalty subscription model.
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Chaudhary said: “It has been an honour to lead Panera Brands during such a transformative time for our company.
“Not only have we introduced innovative new concepts to the fast casual dining industry, but we have expanded our global footprint and formally united Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros to create one of the largest and most vibrant fast-casual companies in the world.
“I have had the privilege of working closely together with José over the last several years and I look forward to continuing to work with him to drive long-term value creation as Chairman.”
Panera Brands was created in 2021 after Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros Bagels partnered to create a new fast casual platform.
Panera Bread is a restaurant operator, Caribou Coffee is a coffeehouse company and Einstein Bros Bagels is a US-based chain specialising in bagels and bagel sandwiches.
Panera Brands did not disclose when it plans to hold the IPO, which it has been considering since 2021.